French cuisine can be traced back to the Italians. French cooking began in the Middle Ages. Catherine de Medici in the 1540's brought cooks educated in the ways of Florence. Originally most dishes at a high content of acidity until a sugar-mania hit. French foods are known both sweet or salty. In the 18th century cookbooks became common, the foods in these cookbooks were loaded with butter, had a high meat content and simmered for hours. Most Dishes are related and their names give ideas as to the ingredients. They categorize the foods depending upon what ingredients are used in the process of cooking it.
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This resulted in a culinary explosion in 1652. The culinary explosion became a book by La Varenne. He introduced new techniques and even sparked that culinary talent no longer had to be restricted to only royalty. Marie-Antoine Carême was an architect who put those methods into food and the way it is presented. He inspired a food science trend, known as molecular gastronomy. He served food in a way so that it was esthetically pleasing creating edible art. In the 19th century and early 20th century the role of chefs was established.
The common way to cook and prepare foods was in an assembly line. The assembly line was broken down into five prep sections. The sections were the garde manager or person that prepared cold dishes, the entremetier who made starches and vegetables, the rotisseur who prepared roasts and grilled and fried dishes, the saucier prepared sauces and also soups, and also the pâtissier who created all pastry and dessert items. Georges Auguste Escoffier is accredited for reforming the inner working of the French kitchen and perfecting Haute Cuisine. He came up with a culinary rule book and a basic encyclopedia of French gastronomy for future chefs to follow. In the late 19th century, Henri Gault of Paris-Presse caused another reform in French cuisine, one with shorter cooking times and more creativity. This was known as Russian Service.
In French cuisine there are certain mealtime customs. One mealtime custom is to not have leftovers nor ask for them wrapped to be taken home. Most meals are served with wine or coffee and they have multiple courses. They consider lunch to be the most important and main meal of the day and dinner is typically after 8pm. French food is considered to be delicate but also flavor packed. French Cuisine has come a long way since its creation.
Some believe France has hit its culinary peak. The French are now beginning to give up quality meals for quicker meals. The sales of fast food incorporations is more than half of sales in the restaurant industry. This a huge change from meals with fine white table clothes and multicourse meals. It is also a change from dishes that took hours to cook. French dishes can be amazing family dinners. They are sophisticated and they have layered flavors. French dishes are based upon logic which in turn makes them easier for anyone to prepare in their home.
Michael Steinberger wrote a book of the rise, fall and future of French gastronomy it was titled "Au Revoir to All That". He criticized the decline of the grand French restaurant scene. In his opinion, many of the greatest restaurants in France lack energy and exuberance that are apparent in the gastronomic cultures of places such as New York, London and even Spain. He also criticized chefs who count on past success and tradition. He developed a mid-priced menu while still holding high level quality and using classic French ingredients. He believes that French foods need to be redeveloped to be more time efficient because the number of people who will wait longer times for their food even though they are in fine dining is decreasing.
French gastronomy is not over, it is simply being revamped for a new age. France is a popular choice for young chefs to study in. Many go there in hopes of learning gastronomic cultures. One example is Daniel Rose, he is an American who opened a French restaurant in Paris. He is one of the most difficult restaurants to book in the city. French Cuisine is still very popular around the world. Bistronomy will continue to expand as the public demands to spend less time and finances on fine dining. An international survey was taken in 20 countries and it was agreed that French cuisine is the most overrated food. This is because French foods have high prices. French cuisine is making a come back because young foreign chefs have been taking in the French culinary scene. The new thing is food trucks, they have become rival options to fast food. This is because of the quickness and the prices.
French cuisine has evolved in grand ways and will continue to evolve until the end of time. There are many brilliant minds that have contributed to the evolution of French cuisine. The basis of French cuisine has never changed. That basis is technique, layers of amazing flavors and of course logic.
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